I woke this morning to the sound a misty rain blanketing the sky. What a relief! Well, for once we had a Semana Santa without having to pull out the umbrellas every day, and the procession floats didn’t have to kick it into high gear to get back to the church. En abril, aguas mil (In April, a thousand waters), that’s the saying, the distant relative to “April showers bring May flowers”, though “hasta el 40 de mayo, no te quites el sayo” (Until the 40th of May, don’t take off your raincoat) hints that the wet weather might be around for a while…and often is. We got a break this time, we really did. All week they had been forecasting that damper cooler weather would be moving into the country and ruining the fun for everyone, but for the most part it just kept getting pushed off and off until about midnight last night, when I came out of the Círculo de Bellas Artes movie theater and felt the sprinkling begin. Bellas Artes is one of the oldest cultural centers in Madrid. It also owns a grandiose old world café with an outdoor section that spills out onto the Calle Alcalá. The inside, is all marbly and might be something you would see in those old fancy hotels. The rest of the building offers small but generally interesting art & photography exhibits, conference rooms, a large ballroom, etc., but the real reason most people come these days is for the chic rooftop bar, which was once just a rooftop, which was once only a rooftop with lookout of the center of Madrid, but now is a happening place for the hip, and not so hip, because I go there from time to time, taking that quality down a notch. Prices are up there with the height of the building, but nothing out of this world, especially for anyone who has travelled to London, Paris or New York.
On this occasion, I was at the movie theater (there is also a regular theater), which I hit from time to time because they usually have decent film cycles featuring different directors or actors or even themes. The best thing about it is that the same movie usually has three or four showings, unlike the filmoteca, meaning you don’t normally have to hipcheck some college professor in line to ensure you have a ticket. This month they were featuring the late French director Alain Resnais, who just passed away last month. It was Hiroshima, Mon Amour, his classic innovative film about, love, loss and memory. It wasn’t the easiest film to watch, one of the densest 90 minutes of celluloid I have taken in for some time which drags a little, and probably not for everyone, but an intensively beautiful and provocative film, all the same.
Let’s not forget these places in Madrid. Let’s not forget love. Let’s remember we have memories which teach us to forget.